Soup and Susan Campbell's 'his and hers' Model A Fords are two of several that will be seen around Port Alberni this week as the Lions Gate Model A Club visits the region. (July 10

Classic Model A Fords to invade Port Alberni

If you see streets overrun with classic Ford Model A cars this week, you haven't hit a time warp.

Members of the Lions Gate Model A Club will take over Port Alberni this week as they have chosen the Alberni Valley and surrounding locales for their 2016 summer tour.

Seven or eight Model As and will be in town, and a few other members will follow in their modern cars, trip organizer Hugh Hunter said.

Model As were the Ford Motor Company’s second most popular car (behind the Model T), built from 1927–31. The first cars off the lot were built in October 1927 but considered a 1928 model. More than one million Model As were sold in their first year of production, so they are one of the most commonly photographed vehicles from their era.

“It was the second generation mass production of any car,” said Hunter of Powell River, who owns a 1931 Model A.

The Lions Gate Model A Club is a non-profit society dedicated to the preservation, restoration and enjoyment of 1928 to 1931 Model A Ford vehicles, according to their website. The club is based in Vancouver B.C. and is a chapter of the Model A Ford Club of America. They try and do one trip per year, if someone is willing to organize it, Hunter said. He came to Port Alberni in May to scout out the city and met David Hooper from the IHS, who helped him put the tour together.

The club will hit the Pacific Rim Highway for a tour of Tofino on Tuesday, July 12 (2016). They plan to visit the restoration shop and museum at the Industrial Heritage Society’s building in Port Alberni on Wednesday. Local owners of Ford Model As and Model Ts are welcome to join a vintage car show in the parking lot of the IHS building after 11 a.m. (other vintage cars are welcome to join the fun too).

The club will visit the Maritime Discovery Centre sometime mid-week, depending on their schedule.

On Thursday club members will take a trip aboard the Alberni Pacific Railway’s steam train to McLean Mill, and on Friday they will take a trip aboard the MV Frances Barkley to Ucluelet.

Club members will be staying at the Hospitality Inn, so the cars will be available for viewing there as well, Hunter said.

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